The principal of Westridge Elementary School in Provo has been named a National Distinguished Principal by U.S. Secretary of Education Lauro F. Cavazos and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
John William Bone is back at work at Westridge this week after attending ceremonies in Washington D.C. last week honoring 60 outstanding principals. Bone was the principal selected from Utah.An elementary or middle school principal is chosen from each state and the District of Columbia. Five principals are selected from private K-8 schools and four are from U.S. government overseas schools.
The criteria for selection as a distinguished principal are recommended by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Association of Elementary School Principals. The guidelines state, "The individual must be a practicing principal of a school that is clearly committed to excellence; a school with programs designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students; and a school with firm ties to parents and the community.
"The principal must show evidence of outstanding contributions to the community and to the education profession."
Bone is president of the National Association for Year-Round Education. He said Westridge Elementary was the first school in the state to go year round. There are now 67 year-round schools in the state.
Westridge has been on a year-round schedule since 1984.
Westridge Elementary School is part of a consortium on Restructuring the Teaching Profession. Sixteen schools from across the country were invited to participate in the consortium sponsored by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
"You have to be a very special school to be selected to participate in a consortium," said Agnes Crawford, assistant director of field services for the association based in Alexandria, Va. "The school has to already be involved in interesting and creative activities to be invited."
Bone has been principal of West-ridge from the time the school was built 11 years ago. He said teachers were involved in the design of the school. The extra-large library was the result of teachers all giving up one foot in the dimension of each classroom.
Before coming to Westridge, Bone was principal of Joaquin Elementary School in Provo. With a doctorate in elementary education, Bone plans to stick with elementary schools. "I think it's where the action is."
Bone enjoys the diversity of Westridge Elementary School, where 50 percent of the students are bused. He said the school is a "microcosm" with students from a variety of social and economic backgrounds.